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Please view a Buffalo Bayou Partnership video that is included in the Giving Library, an on-line fundraising library created by Houston’s Laura and John Arnold Foundation. 

In 1984, Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire appointed a task force to study Buffalo Bayou and to develop a realistic strategy for its development. The result of the task force’s two-year effort was the Buffalo Bayou Master Plan, published in 1986. In addition to outlining conceptual redevelopment designs for Buffalo Bayou, the task force proposed the establishment of a non-profit authority to implement its recommendations.

Created in 1986, Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) is a coalition of civic, environmental, governmental and business representatives whose director nominees are confirmed by the Mayor of Houston and Harris County Judge. The 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization is transforming and revitalizing Buffalo Bayou, Houston's most significant natural resource.

For more than twenty-five years, BBP has been actively pursuing plans and programs for a 10-mile stretch of Buffalo Bayou from Shepherd Drive to the Port of Houston Turning Basin. Directed by the Buffalo Bayou and Beyond Master Plan, over the past 15 years alone the organization has raised and leveraged more than $125 million for Buffalo Bayou’s revitalization. Buffalo Bayou Partnership protects land for future parks and trails, coordinates other natural and built bayou enhancements and sponsors wide-ranging events to attract thousands to the banks of the bayou.

Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s recent successes include:

  • Spearheading the 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park-Shepherd to Sabine enhancement project.  Amenities will include major destinations, natural landscaping, footpaths (in addition to hike and bike trails), trail lighting, water features and pedestrian bridges.  Construction is already underway, with the entire park completed in 2015.
  • Building over four miles of hike and bike trails east of downtown to the Port of Houston Turning Basin.
  • Developing Buffalo Bend Nature Park, a 10-acre park east of downtown near Wayside Drive – providing trails, lookout areas and a series of three ponds to treat diverted storm water and enhance wildlife habitat.
  • Working with more than 2,000 volunteers annually to beautify the bayou through tree plantings, wildflower seedings and tributary restoration.
  • Continuing to host dozens of events, kayak trips, bat tours, history hikes and pontoon boat rides, attracting thousands of Houstonians and visitors to the bayou.
  • Securing funds to restore an historic building at Allen’s Landing, Houston’s birthplace.  The 12,000 square foot Sunset Coffee Building will be transformed into a recreational and cultural center, exhibition space, rooftop terrace, boat/bicycle rental facility, and outdoor plaza.  Renovations are underway and will be completed by late 2014.
  • Acquiring more than 45 acres of land east of downtown to transform into open space for parks, recreational activities and nature preserves.
  • Sponsoring the skimmer boat and Clean & Green program where community service workers collect and remove litter and debris from Buffalo Bayou, its tributaries and the Port of Houston.

Whether substantial capital projects, hike and bike trails, land acquisition or flood control improvements, Buffalo Bayou Partnership has successfully put the bayou back in the “Bayou City.”